iPhone Price Cuts Help Maintain Growth in the World’s Largest Smartphone Market

iPhone Price Cuts Help Maintain Growth in the World's Largest Smartphone Market

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IPhone shipments recovered in the world’s largest smartphone market from the previous month. During the first week of 2024, phone sales fell by 30% year-on-year due to issues with damp paper bags.

By March, the situation had stabilized, with iPhone shipments increasing by 12% year-on-year for the month. In April, Apple’s smartphone shipments in China surged, with iPhone shipments rising by 52% year-on-year. The latest report shows that May shipments increased by 40% annually.

This recovery came amid Huawei’s strong performance following the launch of the Mate 60 series last summer. Despite US restrictions to prevent the manufacturer from obtaining 5G-supporting processors, Huawei equipped the series with the Kirin 9000s 5G application processor (AP).

iPhone Price Cuts Help Maintain Growth in the World's Largest Smartphone Market

The chip was manufactured by SMIC, China’s largest foundry, using an older 7nm process node. The Mate 60 was Huawei’s first 5G-supported series since the Mate 40 series in 2020.

Huawei will soon have one billion active devices running its HarmonyOS, marking a significant challenge for Apple in China as it faces a heavily sanctioned competitor in the premium market segment. The launch of the Mate 60 series spurred a wave of national pride, boosting sales of the new phones.

For the second fiscal quarter ending in March, weak iPhone shipments in China contributed to Apple reporting a 10% year-on-year decline in global iPhone shipments. Total sales of Apple products in Greater China fell by 8.1% year-on-year for the quarter. However, things have been improving for the iPhone in China since March.

The iPhone held its ground partly due to retail price cuts ahead of the country’s June shopping festival. Discounts included 2,300 yuan ($318) off the 1TB iPhone 15 Pro Max and 1,400 yuan ($194) off the 128GB iPhone 15.

Bloomberg News’ calculations showed that smartphone shipments in China increased by more than 13% in May, with foreign-made phone shipments, mainly iPhones, rising by 52% year-on-year. According to the Chinese Academy of Information and Communications Technology, just over five million units of foreign smartphone brands were shipped to China in May.

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